I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again…
You guys are the BEST!
I was totally blown away by the amount of support, encouragement, and above all, the EMPATHY from yesterday’s post. It seems that many of you also have a difficult time recognizing your satiety. So, as a way to show my appreciation and the (seriously gushing) amount of love I have for you all, I thought I’d share some of what I’ve learned over the last several weeks that got me to the point of FINALLY recognizing my fullness.
According to the book, Intuitive Eating, there are a NUMBER of factors that keep us in the Clean-Your-Plate Club:
1. Dieting/restricting portion sizes and/or food groups: How can you be expected to leave any traces of food behind when you KNOW the amount is limited?
2. Having been taught by well-meaning parents: While meant in a loving way, being told over and over to finish ALL of your food (and sometimes punished if you didn’t) can leave a lasting effect and give us a skewed perspective on food.
3. Respecting the almighty dollar and the waste-not attitude: One of my favorite quotes from the book…
“Remember that either way the food can be wasted; in the case of chronically eating more than you need, it becomes an issue of w-a-i-s-t.”
4. Sheer habit of finishing a “serving”: A container of yogurt, a whole sandwich, a single snack bar…Remember, portions aren’t always one size fits all.
5. Beginning a meal in a ravenous state: Satiety cues can fall on a deaf ear when you’re eating so quickly that you can hardly breathe between bites.
6. Distraction: Let’s face it, multitasking is a LOT harder than it sounds.
I can actually attest to every single one of these. That’s right, pretty much every instance of my overeating in the past can be attributed to ANY one of the points above. So here are a few things I tried (and saw success from) in an attempt to change my habits and start actually LISTENING to my body…
1. Set. Serve. Sit!
I can’t tell you HOW many times I’ve eaten in the past while propped up next to the kitchen counter…or heck, sometimes just grabbing random bites from various shelves of the refrigerator! Most of the time, I wouldn’t feel satisfied because it just felt like a quick snack, but I swear to you, the moment I set it all out on a plate, grabbed some actual silverware, and sat down, it became a REAL meal.
Can you believe there is a such thing as aluminum foil?! It conveniently fits over opened containers of yogurt (and other stuff) and keeps fresh in the fridge for like, DAYS! 😯
2. Power Down.
That’s it…no tv, no computer, no cell phone…just you and your food. This was one of the biggest things for me as I will SWEAR to be an excellent multitasker, but in all actuality, I totally suck at it! I would eat an entire meal, while completely glued to my computer screen and find myself scraping the bottom of the plate/bowl within minutes without even realizing! Sometimes I couldn’t even tell you what the food tasted like!
Now, while it’s not always feasible, I try to create a soothing, relaxing environment whenever I can. It really is amazing what some soft music, a cloth napkin, and a little candlelight at breakfast can do for the soul…oh and some #yolkporn never hurt! 😀
3. Slow down. Stop. Savor!
Give yourself time to eat. Stop at different points during your meal and “check in” with yourself…literally, put your fork down. Take a breath. Think about how the food tastes…how it feels in your mouth. Is it pleasing and satisfying to your tastebuds or are you just eating it because it’s there?
In the salad that I made for lunch today, I accidentally overcooked my chicken…it was dry and pretty much tasteless…instead of eating it anyway, I pushed it aside and dug around for more of the “good parts” (ie, blue cheese, cranberries, and more!)
Life is too short to settle for mediocre food. Don’t feel compelled to eat it just because it’s on your plate! Another favorite quote from the book…
If you don’t love it, dont’ eat it, and if you love it, savor it.”
If you practice conscious eating, neutrally observing yourself while eating, you are more apt to take notice of that little voice in your head telling you that you are getting full.
And remember, if you THINK you’re full, then you ARE full!
Don’t be afraid to put everything away and only to feel hungry again in an hour…it happens sometimes…especially in the beginning. But you HAVE to allow yourself UNCONDITIONAL PERMISSION to eat. How can you be expected not to lick your plate CLEAN if you honestly believe that you will never be able to have that food again?! This all goes back to taking the labels OFF of foods!
GO BUY THIS BOOK!
And if you don’t believe me, take it from this girl…a recent convert who has had more than a few “ah-HA!” moments since starting the book just DAYS ago! 😀
Do you find these tips helpful?
Any requests for future posts on the topic of Intuitive Eating?
I’m an open “book”! 😉